27 Jun 11

by Tracy Pierce

Our hike of Mounts Whiteface and Passaconaway on June 18 & 19 was a fantastic success. We completed the overall trip with just a few minor injuries (scrapes, bug bites, and a single turned ankle) and in record speed. We overcame a thunderstorm, bugs, and super challenging ledges. We enjoyed beautiful views and great camaraderie. I also learned a lesson that I hope I won’t soon forget.

View from Tracy's safe perch

I am incredibly afraid of heights and this hike certainly tested that fear! When we approached our first ledge, I was leading the group, and I came upon a sharply slanted ledge that dropped off to nothing. I thought that the trail traversed the ledge and instantly I froze. Our hike leader Kyle
stepped forward and determined that the trail took a 90-degree turn and we didn’t need to cross the ledge, which scared me so much. The views of the Lakes Region, Ring Dyke Complex, and the mountains in the distance was incredible, yet I moved to what I felt was a safe spot, and clung to a tree as Kyle bravely looked out onto the view below us.

Randy asked Kyle if he could join him on the ledge so Kyle might trace the outlines of the mountains in the distance. I’m ashamed to admit that I, as the scared and concerned wife, promptly said “No way!” Randy, ever
mindful of my feelings, said nothing and waited at a safe perch instead.

I’m embarrassed to share this interchange, because my own fear caused me to do something that is in opposition of emphasizing ability awareness that 2020 Vision Quest encourages. In placing my own fear onto Randy, I prevented him from having an experience that he would have enjoyed. I was so scared on that ledge that I didn’t even realize or remember what I’d done until Randy and I talked days later. I’m glad Randy brought it up. Certainly, I’ll be scared again in the future, but I’ll have this lesson to help me remember to
trust our team and the care that Randy exhibits when undertaking something dangerous.

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